ODONATA NYMPHS AS POTENTIAL BIOCONTROL AGENT OF MOSQUITO LARVAE IN MALAYSIA
Keywords:Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, Culex quinquefasciatus, biocontrol, mosquito larva, Odonata nymph
Biocontrol has been proposed as an effective approach in controlling mosquito population. In this study, three Odonata (dragonfly) nymphs (Neurothemis fluctuans, Orthetrum chrysis and O. sabina) were investigated for their feasibility as biocontrol agents against dengue virus vectors Aedes aegypti, Ae. albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus. Each Odonata nymph species was separately fed each of the mosquito species IV instar larvae maintained at a fixed level by replenishing every three hours for 24 hours under controlled laboratory conditions and 12-hour light-dark period. N. fluctuans and O. sabina nymphs preferred Ae. aegypti as their prey, while O. chrysis favored Cx. quinquefasciatus. Amount of larval consumption is significantly higher during light compared to dark period (p-value <0.05). However, overall there are no significant differences in consumption rates of the three dragonfly nymph species for the test mosquito larvae. Thus, Odonata nymphs are potential biocontrol agents against mosquito vectors of dengue disease.